Title Arterial Blood Gases
Type Stage Two
Code HPS151
Requirement Compulsory

Module objective

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be able to analyse, synthesise, evaluate and apply their knowledge to be competent in obtaining an arterial blood gas sample from a range of patients, analysing and interpreting the results, within the scope of a Consultant Clinical Scientist.

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will analyse, synthesise, evaluate and critically apply their expert knowledge with respect to: 

  • the interpretation of blood gas results in a range of metabolic and respiratory conditions.
  • aware of the limitations and benefits for the range of blood gas measurement principles including arterial, arterialised and transcutaneous methods.
  • the principles of oxygen carbon dioxide and acid-base physiology.
  • the evidence base for oxygen assessment and prescription, including static and dynamic modes.
  • the current legislation and guidelines for the prescription of oxygen therapy and non-invasive ventilation.
  • the causes and pathophysiology of respiratory failure.

Technical and clinical skills

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST, with respect to arterial blood gases, will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of current research and its application to the performance and mastery of the following technical skills: 

  • ensure the validity and reliability of equipment used for arterial blood gas testing.
  • select the appropriate the protocol and method of testing.
  • monitor patient for signs of distress and/or signs that early test termination may be required.
  • perform review of recorded data and check it’s validity.

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be expected to critically reflect and apply in practice a range of clinical and communication skills to advise and communicate effectively with patients, relevant clinicians, patients and the public and other healthcare professionals and will undertake definitive analysis of physiological data collected during the arterial blood gas sample.

  • undertake an arterial blood gas from the radial artery in a variety of patients in accordance with published standards, complying with health and safety criteria.
  • provide detailed physiological interpretation of arterial blood gas sample based on published guidance and provide recommendation with regards to on-going therapy, safety concerns or need for alternative therapy requirements.
  • determine the appropriateness of undertaking the blood gas, the recommended utilisation of information during interpretation and report generation, using referral information, past medical history, including symptoms from patient, previous blood gases and oxygen or NIV requirements.
  • feedback to referral teams with regards to outcome of the blood gas, any safety concerns, recommendations for future therapy and the requirement for further investigations where appropriate.
  • reflect on the challenges of applying research to practice in relation to these areas of practice and suggest improvements, building on a critique of available evidence.

Attitudes and behaviours

By the end of this module the Clinical Scientist in HSST will be expected to evaluate their own response to both normal and complex situations demonstrating the professional attributes and insights required of a Consultant Clinical Scientist working within the limits of professional competence referring as appropriate to senior staff and will:

  • maintain patient confidentiality throughout investigations and reporting of outcomes.
  • continually investigate potential improvements to delivery of a blood gas measurements.
  • promote the importance of active participation by Clinical Scientists in multidisciplinary clinical team meetings.


Code Title Action
HPS1-3-1-20 Respiratory & Sleep Science (Adult) [v1] View
HPS1-3-2-20 Respiratory & Sleep Science (Paediatric) [v1] View